The U.S. Coast Guard and SeaWorld joined forces to free a humpback whale in a deadly situation off the coast California, officials said.
Crews were alerted to the distressed whale around 9:30 a.m. Sunday by a fishing boat. The mammal was being pulled down toward the ocean floor after its tail caught in a line connected to lobster traps near the coast of La Jolla.
"It's just really kind of a dangerous situation," Keith Yip, Curator of Mammals at Seaworld San Diego, said of the entanglements.
After about an hour and a half, crew members from the Coast Guard, SeaWorld and local lifeguards were able to cut the line that was causing harm to the whale, freeing the humpback and likely saving its life.
"This whale, I think it certainly would have struggled for quite a while and probably succumbed to the entanglement if we weren't able to help it," Yip said.
Video captured by SeaWorld of the rescue showed the gentle giant swimming near the surface of the ocean after being rescued, a buoy attached to the whale to prevent any future crises.
“So there’s a buoy with both satellite and vhf tracking devices, and so that was if we were to lose the whale, we could always find it,” Yip said.